2017: 51: 5

I took the cat to the vet.  The vet said: “She’s a lovely young lady with a nice coat”.  I was watching the cat in the garden this afternoon.  She sort of just flopped over onto her back with her legs in the air and stopped moving.  Given the heat I think she wants to be a lovely young lady without a nice coat.

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My mother came over for an early Christmas meal before she heads away on a trip tomorrow.  Because I had reread the mental load article the other day I planned the lunch and made it.  I mention this because I want to show off.  Which is something men do.  Women just do shit, but men want praise.  I made a potato, goat’s cheese and rosemary tart.  There are no comments on this blog so I will just imagine you saying nice things.  I took a photo so I could pretend this is the kind of blog where I take pictures of my meals and post them online.  Look:

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It has an effect on it to make it look better.  That’s the purpose of social media photos right?

I think that the idea I had last post will work.  Many people replied and some people are ignoring me but this doesn’t mean anything.  I think that this response represents the best one so far:

OMG YOUR BLOG IS AMAZING WOW YOU HAVE A BIG BRAIN I MEAN LIKE NOT PHYSICALLY BIG BUT LIKE MENTALLY BIG BRAIN YOU KNOW LIKE I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY YOU HAVE A BIG HEAD BUT I AM TRYING TO SAY YOUR BRAIN HOLDS A LOT OF INFORMATION U KNOW ANYWAYS THIS IS GREAT.

I’m not sure why this ex-student always shouts at me.  I’m pretty sure she really is telling me I have a big head.  It is pretty big and it has a weird kind of ski -slope forehead thing going on.  Side on I bear a striking resemblance to reconstructions of Neanderthals.

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Except with more back hair.

And glasses.

Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but the forehead and nose are spot on.

Or is it the Grinch I look like?  I really don’t like Christmas.  It all feels weird to me.  It seems a grotesque bonanza of consumerism designed to make the have nots feel super shit, generating mountains and mountains of rubbish as a by-product, and generating only a temporary hit to the vein of our desire to seek pleasure through possessions.  I can’t think of more perverse way to symbolically commemorate the birth of Jesus in a stable while his family were fleeing persecution.  Is it ok to exchange one gift, maybe even think about what that story represents (it’s a good story regardless of your beliefs), share a meal, listen to some music?

***

There are big, mountainous clouds building and drifting along behind the Brooklyn hill.  It’s warm again, but a gusty breeze is agitating the magnolia tree in the back garden.  I’m listening to Debussy because I’m the kind of guy who will sit around listening to Debussy.  I was listening to Ali Akbar Khan just before.  Do you want to punch me in the nose?

This is my third day of not drinking and I don’t feel better.  I went for a run.  My body hurts.  I will go for a run tomorrow.  Things will hurt more afterwards.  I wrote something on my blog a few weeks ago now that has really stuck with me.  I took the posts that it came from off my blog because they were too sad and cold.

What else did he know?

That he was loved and felt unlovable.  That he was gentle and full of anger.  That he hurt people all the time.  That time was unrelenting.

I’m reading a book called Inglorious Empire: What Britain Did To India now.  It’s weird to grow up thinking one thing, and then have to reeducate yourself.  I grew up in the very, very last light of the idea of Britain as home, and British being best in Aotearoa.  So I did grow up with a sort of boy’s own notion of the British Empire.  I lost that notion in my late 20s when I was in Japan and I began to read about the history of Aotearoa.  Being in Japan itself was interesting when it comes to thinking about Empire.  I read about that too.  My first proper job (after teaching English as a second language, and drinking too much) was teaching at a decile three school with a large Maori and Pacifica population.  That was the nail in the coffin of boy’s own Empire thinking for me.  Working with those young people in what was often the chaos of their lives explained everything I needed to know about the consequences of imperialism.

Speaking of imperialism, and thinking about Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book yesterday:

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Which Eleanor has, and might seem like a good thing, but has really got up my nose.

Here’s why.

Bad girls from:

  • the Middle East – 4
  • East Asia – 4
  • Europe – 30
  • America – 60 (12 African Americans, 1 Latino, 2 Asian)
  • South America – 2
  • Africa?  Zero.
  • India? Zero.
  • Southern Asia & Pacific? Zero.

Indigenous people from North America or South America?  Zero.

It’s worse than that though because the handful from the Middle East and East Asia are mostly ancient and not modern.  The first one in the book, Lilith – purported first wife of Adam – I am counting as Middle Eastern but is portrayed as white with long red hair and blue eyes.

Also.  Margaret  Thatcher?

Geez.

I was going to use it to make some songs/videos with Eleanor but now I think we need to make our own.  Probably based on the basis of the “if the world were 100 people” thing.  Except we will never be able to do 100.  Maybe ten then.

6 Asian, 1.6 African, 1.4 Americas, 1 European (no bloody people from the Pacific so we had better add one).

3.1 Chrisitians, 2.3  Muslims, 1.6 atheists, 1.5 Hindus, 0.7 Buddhists and 0.8 other religions

And only 0.5 speak English.

How hard could that be?